Golf Design from a different viewpoint Jun 27, 2020 15:15:27 GMT -5
Post by greenside on Jun 27, 2020 15:15:27 GMT -5
Jun 25, 2020 10:43:21 GMT -4 15eicheltower9 said:
For anyone interested, one of my favorite interviews i've listened to. It's with David McLay Kidd, designer of a number of holes and courses that could fit in this thread. Most notably, here in the US, Bandon Dunes, which paved the way for all the excellent courses at Bandon Resort.
Okay I wanna come back to this and firmly put my foot in the my mouth and maybe take some heat here....
I've listened to just over half the interview with David McLay Kidd (it's just over two hours long!) and everyone here would benefit from a careful listen to his insight into modern golf course design.
Here comes the foot to my mouth - I've been reading a lot of stuff on this sight and watched some videos that just don't make sense to me. I'm coming from this as a Class A Superintendent that has built courses, worked with golf architects and taken formal training in golf architecture. Then I hear Mr. Kidd in this interview (son of a superintendent himself) and finally things sounds right and I know I haven't lost my mind.
A few things that David said that ring true with my experience:
- Golf course design isn't really an art or about art, it's more like architecture where there's structural necessities that lie outside what looks good
- Template holes are overrated. Design new original ideas and stop using old established ideas. Where do you think the templates come from - someone's original idea
- The shot from the tee shouldn't be designed like a chess match - more like checkers.
So my thoughts that I know Mr. Kidd would agree with:
- Making sure the course can be physically maintained and the turf is kept alive is paramount to all other considerations. (so consider slopes, drainage, trees, traffic, turf type vs location)
- Bowls on greens can exist - perched water tables are the norm in greens construction and surface drainage is not the main way that greens drain in this modern era
- Setting the solar angle to unrealistic angles or blinding golfers in the face to get visual excitement is art(at best, at worst its annoying in real life). Good design and stunning scenery should stand the test of high noon with the sun overhead.
I'd argue that Augusta looks better at noon then dawn/dusk in my several visits there.
- The path to the green should be enjoyable with obvious options - if you need a surveyor's optical theodolite for shot planning then it might be fun for a math nut like me - but not for most.
- Make your fairways as wide as you want, but remember the owner won't be happy with a huge fertilizer, pesticide and cost of labour costs to maintain any unnecessary extra acres.
- Efficient maintenance if roughs is entirely about being able to cut it with a machine. Endless rocks and shrubs in the middle of rough are pretty but unrealistic on real courses. These areas would become infested with weeds in most courses without Augusta budgets. Some goes for tree lines and the edge of lake and streams.
- Bunkers over 5 feet deep are very common in all courses I've worked on and visited, if you need an extension ladder to get out then maybe you've gone too far.
- If you have a tee/green that provides no way to access with golf equipment or even turn around when cutting -then it can't exist. (Tees on cliffs with stair access only)
Creative lighting effects, composition and stunning planting really looks AMAZING in this game, but....
...I think top points should be given to courses that could really exist - how many supers are on the judging panels that look at each course and point out features that couldn't be managed (or built) in the real world? Maybe there should be two classes of fictional courses - fantasy and realistic?
I'm not picking on anyone, in fact I'm inspired by so much of what you post and build. I do think however that a different perspective may be helpful, and elevate design as we head to the next version in August.
I'm hoping I get a few folks scratching their heads and giving all of this some thought.
For me I'm leaning towards doing some course reviews on Youtube (live? but not Twitch) - purely from a Superintendent's standpoint on how realistic the course is. (my wife will tell you that all I need is yet another hobby!)
Secondly with the new version I'm thinking about organizing a design competition for the best 'realistic' course that puts a premium on the 'real' part, followed by architecture and then aesthetics. Not sure if that's something that i can do without this site's mod team getting involved - but here's to giving it a shot.
I'm dying to hear your thoughts - the good, bad and the ugly. If you want your course to go through a 'realistic-superintendent-inspection' then let me know - I love to check out new courses - even if they aren't stunning works of art.
Almost dinner time - gotta get this foot out of my mouth.